Wednesday, April 28, 2010


So the ants, they have a nest, right up there behind the beam that supports the kitchen/ TV room ceiling. And I find myself staring up there frequently, wondering about their sweaty little ant bodies all crawling around in there, feeding themselves, lugging their larvae back and forth, chewing out more and more of the beam that supports this part of the house, which is rotten already, which is why the ants are there. Even though the ants are there and I am here and I am not, in general, a person who gets skeevy in the face of arthropods, over and over again I feel like I am in the nest, and that there are ants in my armpits, in my nostrils, in my hair, and I am skeeved.

Yesterday we had an exterminator come out and put little shots of poison into the nest, along with lines of poison along their preferred pathways, so that pretty soon we are going to have a nest up in the drywall above our kitchen, but it is going to be filled with dead ants. And also poison.

This is not much better.

Half of our house smells like ripe, fungus-rich rotten wood, like we have a decaying tree in our living room. Actually, we DO have a decaying tree in our living room. It just happens to have been milled, and set into cross supports, and be holding up our roof. I keep imagining the layer of the ceiling/roof between the drywall (which looks fine, more or less) and the spiffy new shingles, which look very fine, and what I imagine is this: old rotted-through barn floors. Mining cabins where the walls are sinking into the ground. Wood that is turning into compost.

Basically, the roof over half our house is made of compost.

There is another dimension to this, of course. The money dimension. I'm finding it easier not to think about that at all. My husband can't sleep at night, and all day he stomps around the house saying things like, "Smell that? Do you smell that smell? I think it's strongest in here" and "This is going to use up all our equity" and "I can't believe what SHITS those people were" and "I feel trapped."

In response, I put my fingers in my ears and think "LA LA LA LA."

And then I think about the ants.


Jess said...

Ugh. I'm skeeved too, just reading this. I'm so sorry! I hope the resolution will be less expensive than feared.

artemisia said...

Oh, God. I am so sorry. I would be trying to hunt down the previous owners so I could give them a good slap. Oh, man.

Hang in there.

Kate said...

Oh, boy... catching up on your blog today and so sorry to hear about this! Can you handle the fragrance of mint? That generally sends them packing around my place. Mint oil, indoors, mint plants around the house foundation.

But, if they've fallen in love with you I'm not sure what can be done.. other than to kill the queen. Off with her head!